People who enjoy gambling have something in common with pigeons.
That is according to research, which suggests human gamblers and pigeons are 35% more likely to take greater risks when there is a chance of a big win.
Birds are distantly related to humans, yet we still share the same basic psychology that drives risk-taking. This may be due to a shared common ancestry or similar evolutionary pressures.
When people gamble, they often rely on past experiences with risk and rewards to make decisions. What we found in this study is that pigeons used these past experiences in very similar ways to guide their future gambling decisions. Any big wins we’ve had in the past are memorable and stand-out when we are making our decision to gamble again.
– DR ELLIOT LUDVIG, FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK’S DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
The pigeons and human volunteers were testing with four options – two that led to high-value rewards and two that led to low-value rewards. Humans were rewarded with points and the birds were rewarded with food.
For each high or low reward level, one safe option resulted in a guaranteed fixed reward, and one risky option yielded a 50/50 chance of a better or worse outcome.
Both birds and humans were found to be 35% more likely to take a gamble on the high-value rewards.
About Pigeon Patrol:
Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.
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